A Bad Year for Good-News Sites

GoodEveryDay, gone; TakePart, severely downscaled.

In January, we ran an interview with Lew Harris. After a long managerial run with TheWrap, E! Entertainment and several other high-profile West Coast outlets, he was hired to oversee a new website called GoodEveryDay. The focus, per the name, was good news.

Although the site had a well-heeled financial backer, it did not last long after it was officially launched in March. Inexplicably, after giving the editorial staff the promise of a full year’s operational budget, the GoodEveryDay investor pulled the plug just two months in.

And now, as we get ready to close out the year, another positive-focused operation, TakePart, has dramatically downscaled, with a number of staffers laid off. In the case of TakePart, the backer is even more well-heeled.

When Variety’s James Rainey broke the news about TakePart, he got this statement from David Linde, CEO of parent company Participant Media:

“This is a continuation of Participant’s strategy to focus on content and social impact, based on the belief that a good story well told can change the world. This decision is not a reflection on the work done by the exceptional TakePart team, but rather a strategic move to shift away from running a standalone site. We are incredibly proud of the TakePart team and its body of work over the past seven years, which has inspired significant engagement and countless individual actions on causes ranging from environmental protection to social justice.”

The struggles of GoodEveryDay and “strategic” changes at TakePart echo the fate of all sorts of media companies. Although Upworthy has made it work, in retrospect, maybe the best 2016 direction for these folks would have been fake good news.